It’s become a bit of a tradition in the AB offices. No sooner have Mel and Sue leapt on to our TV screens with their own special brand of cake-based innuendo and terrible French accents, and I’m throwing down the gauntlet to my sweet-toothed colleagues.
Cleverly organised to coincide with the most twee of BBC TV shows, it’s a great opportunity to gently knead the team’s competitive streak, while raising money for a good cause. Our dentists probably do pretty well out of us too.
This year, I took things one step further, splitting our bakers into four categories – biscuits, tray bakes, cakes and bread – with the winners of each round going through to bake a show-stopper in the final.
Here’s the lowdown of each round:
Liam Garrahan, video journalist – Nutella cookies (winner)
Abi Idris, head of finance – mojito cookies
Tray bakes week
Paul Smith, editor – Malteser bites (winner)
Duncan Mills, editor – lemon shortbread
Emma Powys Maurice, reporter – orange and lemon drizzle cake (winner)
Jo MacDonald, deputy editor – Smartie chocolate cake
Emma Bennett, editor – cheese and onion soda bread (winner)
Gemma Wilson, deputy editor – cinnamon loaf
So who proved they’re the best and earned the title of Star Baker this year?
After Liam dropped out at the 11th hour because his “oven broke” (if you can’t stand the heat…), there were just three bakers reaching for the rolling pin in this year’s final. Emma PM certainly won points for skill with her delectable treacle tart.
However, a controversial vote saw the title shared between my own chocolate cherry log and Paul’s raspberry and pistachio mini-cheesecakes. The demanding judges couldn’t separate us.
As well as piling on a few pounds each, we also raised £100 for Macmillan Cancer Support. The icing on the cake.